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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 93
For what it's worth... since fireless engines were effectively the last vestige of steam and produced fairly late, many are equipped with as many roller bearings as possible to cut down on energy loss.

As far as dragging an air compressor with it all over, I agree that's not going to be effective But.......

How come no one has suggested a steam generator car?

Of course by the time you hitch the steam gen car and a water canteen behind the poor little fireless you probably cant drag much else but, the point is to make it run... right?


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 622
Location: Wall, NJ
Hotbox, you make a good point. Unlike a conventional steam locomotive which generally wants to run at MAWP, a fireless engine is designed to run somewhat lower on the pressure scale. Based on our experience with air operation, if I had kept our fireless, I was well on my way to running it on steam with a towed package boiler. My initial calculations were that a relatively small boiler was all that was needed. In this case, I would have bypassed the tank/receiver on the engine altogether when operating on steam, taking steam from the towed boiler directly to the throttle. Again, we were not hauling loaded freight cars with it, so a very limited application. And it only weighed 7 tons soaking wet.

My ultimate plan had been to have the tank overhauled properly and acquiring a package boiler large enough to charge the locomotive properly and operating it as designed. But, we never got to that point before my partner on the engine passed away suddenly.

Bottom line is that depending on the fireless, there are lots of options in hand.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:28 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 376
"since fireless engines were effectively the last vestige of steam and produced fairly late"

I'm not sure I agree with that. The fireless engines were more of a "niche" market for very specific applications. They were widely applied in areas were flame and sparks were a real and present danger. Places like gunpowder plants, chemical plants, etc. Eastman Kodak in the "Kodak Park" industrial works used fireless engines starting in the late 1890's. The production of photographic film back then used large quantities of flammable solvents, sparks were "discouraged".

They were also convenient for electric utility power plants because there was a "free" (all things considered) source of steam to charge them up with.

I do not think fireless locos were the "last vestige" of steam, rather, as a very simple and long lasting machine a few of them just happened to "hang on" well past the fired steam locomotives. The diesel locos did not offer many advantages over fireless locomotives in industrial settings where fireless locos where already in place. A fireless loco can last darn near forever. No firebox to wear out, no flues, low speeds so the running gear lasts forever, they are just about impossible to wear out.

Cheers, Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:02 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1954
Location: Strasburg, PA
If I recall, that is right. The PP&L fireless cookers that we had done some work on circa 1987 were built very late. Without checking, a 1958 date on the builder's plates comes to mind (subject to correction).

_________________
"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
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Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:20 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 93
I didn't mean to imply that they were a new or late invention. More so that plants continued their use after most other industrial steam locomotives had been done away with. Some plants were still ordering new fireless engines after WWII into the mid 50s. I would hazard a guess that fireless engines were the last type of steam engine produced for domestic use in the U.S. and likely among the last steam engines to be used in industrial work on a widespread basis.

The last place where steam interchanged with steam took place between and fireless and and conventional steam engine.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:00 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9898
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Kelly Anderson wrote:
If I recall, that is right. The PP&L fireless cookers that we had done some work on circa 1987 were built very late. Without checking, a 1958 date on the builder's plates comes to mind (subject to correction).


Nope. If you mean PP&L Sunbury Steam Electric Station at Shamokin Dam, Pa., the last PP&L plant to use fireless steam locos--and I know you have to--they were Porter 8089 and 8090, 1949. One's been scrapped after a languishing preservation attempt, and the other is still "rotting" on the original Blue Mountain & Reading in Hamburg, Pa. (private property, discussed on this forum before).


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:48 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
I know of a fireless cooker in pennsylvania with a wheel arrangement of 2-10-4......


/me runs out of thread fast....




apologies to Glen Campbell




really, funny and informative thread

I found and HO version of the 2-10-4 in DM&IR colors and will enjoy such engine like that while we wait if something can happen with 643....

I always thought the fireless cooker was just filled with superhot water under pressure.
Perhaps there are multi-techniciques to do it. The water is under pressure and when under pressure will not boil at the regular atmospheric pressures and temperature of 212 degrees. Under hot pressure, as the steam is used the pressure reduces causing the water to boil producing steam.

the more you know.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:26 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 622
Location: Wall, NJ
I’ll have to drag out my files, but the Apache Powder works used their fireless engines up to 1970 or so.

And someplace here in the file I have copies of correspondence between Apache and Porter/Davenport dated roughly 1958 covering the build of new fireless steam locomotives. Pricing is included. Again, going off memory here, but seem to recall the price at about $12K or so. By the sounds of it, Apache went with internal combustion, but kept the old engines running for another dozen years or so.

J.R.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:30 am
Posts: 47
In the U.K. the guys at the Scottish Industrial Railway Centre operate an 0-4-0 Andrew Barclay fireless "cooker". IIRC they used to charge it from another steam loco but maybe have a package boiler by now. Barclays built no less than 114 of them between 1913 and 1961, many for armaments factories during WW1 but also oil refineries and chemical plants where conventional steam locos would present an explosion risk. They were used at pharmaceutical and food factories for hygiene reasons but also at some power plants simply because there was a 'free' unlimited supply of high pressure steam. Several were still used in the U.K. during the 80's and some remain at work in Eastern Europe to this day. The last ones were produced at Meiningen (Eastern Germany) around 1990.
Co-incidentally the current issue of the British railfan mag. "Railway Bylines" contains an article about these underrated workhorses. Hopefully I've attached a photo of the SIRC one in steam.
Ray.
Attachment:
AB works no 1952 of 1928.jpg
AB works no 1952 of 1928.jpg [ 22.32 KiB | Viewed 3606 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1424
Location: Back in NE Ohio
I photographed a fireless working a Pennwalt plant near Detroit in March of 1983, from a public access street. I have some B&W photos of it, but currently no way to scan.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 914
Hi,

I always liked the "no smoke stack" appearance of these locos. It set them apart. Fireless cookers had no need to exhaust up the stack since no draft was needed for the missing firebox.

Someone mentioned the "streamlined" look of the one fireless cooker. I think some were closed systems for water and the exhaust from the cylinders were routed back to the cab for re-injection back into the boiler maybe?

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:30 am
Posts: 47
All the ones I've seen had a vertical exhaust pipe up the back of the cab with a sort of 'muffler' on top. Rather than 'chuffing' they 'wuffled' (if you know what I mean) when in motion.
Sorry Doug but I can't see any way in which the exhaust could be condensed and "re-injected back into the boiler" - for one thing they had no injectors - the boiler was initially half filled with water before the steam was turned on (at 150-300psi) from the factory supply. As steam was used and the pressure dropped the water re-boiled until the pressure dropped to about 30psi and the loco had to return to its 'umbilical cord'!
According to the article I mentioned above the world's first fireless loco ran in New York as far back as 1873 having been developed for use on street tramways by Emille Lamm and Sylvester Langton.
Ray.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
Dougvv wrote:
Hi,

I always liked the "no smoke stack" appearance of these locos. It set them apart. Fireless cookers had no need to exhaust up the stack since no draft was needed for the missing firebox.

Someone mentioned the "streamlined" look of the one fireless cooker. I think some were closed systems for water and the exhaust from the cylinders were routed back to the cab for re-injection back into the boiler maybe?

Doug vV


with this kind of thinking maybe you would need a condenser to turn steam back to water and using a normal injector shoot it back in the "tank". But the way things work steam pressure has to work against no opposite pressure so technically you have to have an energy loss.

Where the above engine might be exhausting steam I dunno but they can have exhaust chimneys like any other steamer.


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:48 pm
Posts: 129
Both Porter and Heisler used "skyline" casings on the top of the pressure vessel towards the end of production. I have no idea if there was a functional reason for this or if it was just for styling purposes


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 Post subject: Re: Use of Fireless Locomotives in Museum Service
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2703
dinwitty wrote:
with this kind of thinking maybe you would need a condenser to turn steam back to water and using a normal injector shoot it back in the "tank". But the way things work steam pressure has to work against no opposite pressure so technically you have to have an energy loss.


Exactly! You would gain nothing, and you would lose some energy.

They were called "Thermos bottles" for a reason, they were filled with hot water under pressure, which turned into steam as the pressure dropped during use. No firebox, no injector, very simple really.

What I don't know is what steam pressure was used. I vaguely thought some of them used fairly high pressure for more potential energy, but I don't know what that would be, or if I'm even correct about that. Anyone have some info?


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